The first type of blackjack deal is the London Deal wherein cards for each player are dealt faced up and players are not permitted to touch the cards until the game ends.
The second type is the Nevada Deal where the cards are dealt face down and players pick them up after being distributed.
In both types, only one of the dealer’s cards is shown to the players.
There are different ways on how a dealer handles his cards. The most popular variation that is commonly used in casinos is what they call “Dealer stands on all 17s” wherein the dealer continues to “hit” if he gets a hand value that is less than 17. The dealer would then “stand” if he has reached a total of 17 or more. The dealer is forced to play by these rules and is not able to choose freely whether to hit or stand.
Aside from “hitting” and “standing”, there are a couple more options available to players during certain circumstances. A more detailed guide on when to choose the right option is available in the blackjack chart.
Doubling down occurs when the game rules allow you to double your bet with any two cards. The player is then given only one card to add to his hand and his turn ends.
Splitting is when you are dealt with two similar cards and offered the alternative to split them. The dealer will then add card to each card effectively allowing you two hands. Any 10-value card partnered with another 10-value card is considered a pair, thus, you have the option of splitting a hand containing a 10 and a Queen even though it isn’t a pair.
A new bet equal to that of the original is placed and the two hands are played independently from the other. Depending on the casino’s rules, a split hand that becomes a pair may be split again, giving the player a total of 3 hands. A player may even be able to split any succeeding pairs if allowed by the casino though casinos normally limit the number of split hands a player can have. Blackjacks do not occur on split hands no matter what the scenario.
Doubling after split is rarely played among casino sites but this occurs when a player is allowed to double down even after a split occurs.
An option to Surrender is given to the player if he does not like his initial cards. By surrendering, the player forfeits half of the bet and gets the other half back. But this is better than losing all of it when you have a card combination that has a high potential of losing. An early surrender happens before the dealer checks for Blackjack while a late surrender happens after the check has been made.
The option of Insurance is offered when the dealer gets an Ace. If you choose this option, you place an amount that is half of your original bet. If on the next hit, the dealer gets a ‘blackjack’ by getting any of the cards valued at 10, you will still get the original amount you bet. On the other hand, if the dealer does not get a blackjack, you get away with nothing and the game goes on. If you win the round, you only win the amount of the original bet.
Five Card Charlie is more of a special case rather than an option. By choosing to hit three times (totaling to 5 cards in the hand) and miraculously not get bust, the player automatically wins twice the amount of the original bet–which is more than a blackjack! Take note though that not all casinos reward the five-card-charlie to players with 5 cards in their hand, so make sure you know the rules before trying to pull this off. Furthermore, if the dealer gets a blackjack, you lose, no matter how many cards you may have in your hand.
Knowing the different options available to you during your turn is only the beginning. Learning when to use these options is the key to effectively improving your game. On the next part of the guide (blackjack odds), we will show you when to effectively use these options to increase your chances of winning.
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